European regulators unimpressed with Kroes' single market plans

A group that represents the European Union's 28 national regulators has been sharply critical about the recent proposals to create a European single market for telecoms, saying it is "concerned that the proposed regulation is being rushed through the European legislature without proper explanation and full exploration of its potential consequences."

In a statement on the single telecoms package presented by the European Commission's digital commissioner, Neelie Kroes, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) added that the proposals represent a shift away from the current approach based on pro-competitive regulation towards one that favours market consolidation.

Other concerns outlined by BEREC are that the proposals risk undermining legal certainty and they "represent a substantial shift in the balance of power between the Commission, Member States and National Regulatory Authorities, centralising competences at the Community level."

BEREC also lambasted Kroes over her ongoing message that Europe's telecoms industry is lagging behind other regions: "It is also important to bear in mind that the state of the sector in Europe is not quite as bleak as has been suggested," the regulators said.

Kroes has often bemoaned Europe's lack of progress on the rollout of LTE, and said the region has lost its leading position in mobile innovation to the United States and countries in Asia.

Nevertheless, BEREC pointed out some areas where Europe could be said to be doing a whole lot better: broadband technologies in Europe deliver faster speeds and often at lower prices than in the U.S., and some of the most competitive markets offer mobile plans at half the price of the U.S.

Over on Twitter, Kroes' spokesman Ryan Heath is dealing with the fallout from the BEREC comments. He recently commented: " Am sure companies lining up to abolish the 28 nat regulators will be first to retweet the concerns of those they want to abolish."

For more:
- see this BEREC statement
- see this FT article (sub. req.)

Related Articles:
EU's 'Connected Continent' proposal draws muted response, but analysts upbeat
Kroes pushes through plans for EU single market
Kroes insists roaming fees will end, despite report to the contrary
European Commission denies split over single telecoms regulator

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